Tuesday, September 28, 2010


There has been this constant thread in my life for the past year and a half to two years. It's one I've periodically ignored, but that has consistently pursued me. And occasionally brought me to my knees. And here I am again. After a period of low hum, it's shouting at me again. And at 4:30 in the morning on a weekday, I'm finally quiet enough to let it wash over me.

More simplicity.
Less distraction.

It's amazing how easy that sounds. And how difficult it can be to implement. I want so badly to open the scriptures and learn how to do this. But alas, there is no Fox 3:16 that says, "Stop wasting your life with hilarious nonsensical drivel and read your stinking bible." And there's no Schedule 5:27 that says, "Be not like a chicken with its head removed, but slow down and fellowship with other believers." I have to remember that in biblical times, there were -- by nature -- less distractions. Or different ones, anyway. But definitely more silence.

And yet, I already know how to get there. I know that nothing replaces time spent with God. In prayer, in His word. It's like if I were trying to improve my relationship with my husband by thinking about him more while running errands in my car. Uh, no. That won't quite do it. It's the time. It's the one on one. God wants some face time, maybe some actual conversation.

So, I'm back to the empowered "Just say no" phase that I love and hate at the same time. I'm saying no to some things that I have the audacity to call "necessary", and some things that I just really "like" to do, and replacing them with Him whom I love. (And maybe a little extra face time for husband and kids, too. Bonus.) I already feel a sense of relief.

Less is more, here, folks.

It's so hard to remember that when I'm stuck in the whirlwind. It's easy to say, "I'm just so busy." It's a bad excuse when I've only done it to myself. But when I make my delight in Him, remove distractions, and I listen and obey, there's a beautiful picture that emerges from the frantic fog. There is clarity, humility, and a reordering of priorities. God sits on the universal, eternal, and most powerful throne. And everything else comes in a distant second.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I often speak of the unbelievable support and benefit of having my family so close by. 39 members of my family living in the Austin area. 32 within a five-mile radius. We are an anomaly, no doubt. Functional marriages, happy kids, love for Jesus, and a desire to actually spend time with one another. I can safely say that nearly every day I speak to at least two or three family members, (and I only get sick of them sometimes). We are in community with one another, raising kids together, and are each others' first go-to in times of joy and celebration, and in times of need or sorrow.

I know that not everyone has this. It's a blessing.

What is probably an African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," is also backed by scripture. Yes, it's nice to have my brother and his wife take my kids so I can get a date night with my husband. And it's so cool that my kids have tons of cousins that are their first best friends, and that we all love each others' kids as if they were our own. But I think it takes a village to get through life, too. Not just in the kid department. And this is where the scripture comes in.

Where kids need discipline and reinforcement through love and acceptance, we as adults also need people who speak truth into our lives. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

If you don't have the benefit of close family, you probably have (or need to build) a spiritual family. People who are in your lives, in your kids lives, in your business. And people who have investment in your well being. People who carry your burdens, and whose burdens you carry. Whether it is spiritual burdens, financial burdens, child-rearing burdens, or burdens of sin, as the context of the scripture presents.

Don't get me wrong. We all need to carry our own load. We're not to continue in being a burden (see v 4 and 5). But don't be surprised when your load becomes light because of all those around you who are carrying similar burdens in close proximity. That's what happens when you live in true fellowship.

Today, I am reminded what a gift I have. I love my village. I thank God for each person.

Friday, September 3, 2010



This is how I’ve been feeling lately. Like a boat at sea. I’ve been casting my nets here and there, trying to catch the fish. But I’ve lost my bearings. I don’t know where the shore is, and I don’t know which way I should go.

Then I remember my anchor. Yes. I have an anchor. I could go left right north south east west, but first I must get my bearings. And in order to do that, I must first stop, drop my anchor, and figure out where I am. I must plunge the deep before I move on.

The LORD is my anchor; praise His name. I must fix fast onto the scriptures, make my mooring in prayer, in His peace. Or I’ll end up floating wherever the wind takes me. This life can’t be lived left right north south east west. It has to start with the depth of the scripture, with the depth of prayer, with the depth of relationship with the Living God.

Then, the way is made known. The skies open, the compass points north, and water is made clear.

Let the journey begin again.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.” 2 Samuel 22:1-3